The U.S. Senate failed to enact solutions for immigration reform. After waiting more than two decades for leadership on this issue, 53 senators ignored the majority of Americans who support a comprehensive solution.

I believe those Senators – and, yes, this includes Sen. Susan Collins – gave up on the legislative process, caved to hate-filled fears of immigrants, and put (inaccurate) political calculations ahead of the good of our country.

This issue requires leadership, also known as the courage to put aside partisan politics. And a bold, bipartisan group of senators did try to craft legislation to bring both parties to the table. Sen. Collins and her partisan allies led the way in giving up on real solutions before the process had even been given a chance.

Sen. Olympia Snowe, however, did exercise bipartisan leadership on this issue and deserves to be commended. It is a sad fact, however, that those who exercise leadership on this issue are attacked and threatened – not only politically but physically – just for doing their job and standing up to anti-immigrant hate.

Our country is tired of this. The majority of Americans reject these tactics, federal inaction, and the intolerance this deadly combination spreads.

This is why it’s disturbing some members of the Senate, the most deliberative of our legislative bodies, would ignore the majority who support an earned path to legality for undocumented immigrants, and strengthen the divisive tactics a vociferous minority use to stop constructive debate in its tracks.

Josh Gagne, Lewiston

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